by Lita Cosner

When professing Christians deny biblical creation, we often point them to the words of Jesus and the New Testament authors which clearly affirm belief in biblical creation. Because Christians are, by definition, people who believe what Jesus believed, this should be the end of the discussion, right?

Not quite. While they may concede that Jesus and Paul et al. referred to Genesis, they often come back arguing that they did not do so in certain contexts; such as evangelism, or that certain details aren’t mentioned. And this is somehow taken as an argument against taking a historical view of Genesis as important for the Gospel and the Christian worldview.

So is what the New Testament doesn’t say a problem for biblical creation?

An incomplete record?

Of course there are details in Genesis 1–11 that aren’t referenced in the New Testament. If you only stuck to the first-century revelation of God’s Word, you wouldn’t know that there were animals on Noah’s Ark or that God confused the world’s language at Babel. The NT authors were entirely silent about most of the names and all of the numbers in the genealogies. So does that mean that these ‘omitted’ details are unimportant for the Christian’s faith?

To give an answer to this, first we have to look at what sort of documents the New Testament is made up of, and whether we would expect to find these sorts of details. And then we have to look at how the New Testament uses the details of Genesis it does specifically cite.

The New Testament as a group of occasional writings

The New Testament documents are occasional—meaning, they were written for a specific audience and a specific purpose. The Gospels are each in their own way arguing that Jesus is the Messiah. The Acts of the Apostles is recording the spread of the Gospel after Jesus’ ascension, and the epistles of Paul, Peter, John, James, and Jude are addressed to specific people or congregations answering specific problems. All of great benefit to all readers throughout time, of course….

 

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